Tag Archives: Featured

Put on your superhero cape to help families in crisis

Girl in cape with the message"Be strong, Be courageous, Believe

You keep the shelter doors open and advocates in place for women and families who need a place of refuge. Now your help is even more important as COVID surges and flu season starts.

This Sept. 23, come to Believe, a virtual party with a purpose. You’ll ensure that those hurt by the ones they love have a place to go and time to grow.

Join us online at 6 pm after picking up party boxes prepared by the Q and fine wine from Foundry Vineyards. Then snag a one-of-a-kind experience and make a heartstrings gift at our silent auction.

Your participation will help women and children at the YWCA find hope, healing, and peace.

___ YES! I believe that a woman and her children going through domestic violence should always find a safe haven at the YWCA.
___YES! I will join you at the 2021 Believe virtual party and auction by signing up
at party.ywcaww.org. (Call 509-525-2570 if you have questions or need help!)

You help us address county childcare crisis

Childcare table with colorful alphabet magnets and board

In nearby Dayton, where county residents have few childcare options, Tabitha Haney, YWCA Director of Childcare, is working with other experts – from state licensors and inspectors to legislators and architects – in the search for solutions.

Perhaps most affected by the childcare crisis are Dayton General Hospital employees, essential workers who – more than ever during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic – need reliable, affordable care.

The Early Learning Coalition is exploring funding possibilities, and we look forward to the continued effort to set up quality care options for Columbia County.

Fun Factory: Your gifts kept our van rolling

Ethan Dolph, Ana Rubie, and Caitlyn Rolfe shared summer crafts in parks and neighborhoods throughout the Walla Walla Valley, thanks to your YWCA support.

After COVID crushed our 2020 plans, we were pretty excited about having the YWCA Fun Factory back.

However, this summer was hardly business as usual.

Several neighboring communities were experiencing virus resurgence that kept kids indoors. Here in Walla Walla, parks were emptier than usual with so many kids taking part in the important Walla Walla Public Schools accelerated learning program, Summer Sol.

While the numbers may not have been as high as previous years, it was great to be offering something for kids who might otherwise have slipped through the activity cracks.

Van driver Ethan Dolph said, “We knocked on doors and tacked up dozens of notes around some of our quieter stops. It was a really great feeling when after a couple of weeks of consistently showing up, we’d finally connect with the kids.”

Just when participation seemed to be gaining momentum, the team had a new challenge: Should they be trying to entice children outdoors in record-setting temperatures? Or on days with risky air quality?

They acquired spray bottles and added N95s to their masking options, and they gained special appreciation for the indoor stops.

Next year might not bring cooler temperatures or cleaner air (though we can always hope), but Ana, Caitlyn, and Ethan did come up with some new strategies and schedule adjustments to help 2022 be even more successful.

You help them fly: LiNC is in the bag

Woman carrying LiNC tote bag by the YWCA sign

“It feels like I’m back in school, and that’s a great feeling!” Hannah proclaimed as she settled in for her first session of LiNC class last spring.

In order to follow COVID-19 protocols while continuing in-person classes, several changes have been made to the way the LiNC program operates. One of those changes, thanks to our gracious donors, is a personal tote bag for each student containing all necessary supplies and curriculum for class.

If you take a peek inside one of these bags, you’ll find an orange binder full of empowering curriculum, markers, colored pencils, a pen, highlighter, sharpie, glue, sticky notes, index cards, a stress ball, and a reusable YWCA water bottle.

Keeping track of that tote bag is a lesson in responsibility for many of the ladies who join our class. No one has lost a tote yet!

On the following Thursday, Hannah burst into class. “I have exciting news!” she said. “You won’t believe what I did yesterday — I signed up for classes at the community college!”

We cheered her achievement and the bravery it took to set her education in motion. I smiled at how one simple tote bag could ignite a dream.

LiNC, or Living in New Circumstances, is a life skills program designed for domestic violence survivors. Beki Buell, LiNC Director, shared this update.

Donors and leaders reflect on pandemic experience, growth

Leadership Circle and past board members gather at Foundry Vineyards

On a warm July evening, members of the Leadership Circle and past YWCA board members gathered to celebrate resilience and optimism at Foundry Vineyards.

“Spirits were high, bright persimmon clothing was abundant, and everyone was simply thrilled to be meeting face to face,“ Executive Director Anne-Marie Zell Schwerin said.

At the time, the so-called fourth wave of the pandemic had not yet hit Walla Walla County, and to our knowledge, thanks to a high percentage of vaccinated guests, no COVID transmission has resulted from the in-person gathering.

Where do we go from here?

Table conversations centered around questions posed by our 2021 luncheon speaker, author and life coach Molly Davis.

Where do we go from here? What is ours to do?

Of the many changes the past 16 months have brought to our lives, we discovered how grateful we are for some of those changes. For others…not so much.

The up side

The parts of quarantine we enjoyed most? Many found more time for reflective walks. “Walking was my discovery. My peace.”

Many found a renewed sense of gratitude to all who helped us get through the pandemic – the vaccination clinic folks, the UPS truck driver, the mail carrier.

Our outside activities moved inside our homes, meaning shared Wi-Fi, meeting spaces…a “tight family time” that was as challenging as it was a gift.

“Living daily with my family was scary and wonderful at the same time – exhausting and energizing,” said one mom.

Simple pleasures

We also learned to make do with less, to live on less, to enjoy simple pleasures like baking bread and making casseroles. “I’m able to be alone and to be content alone.”

The consensus of the assembled guests was that we really didn’t need all that toilet paper! In fact, someone shared that her new shopping motto is, “If I can’t eat it, I don’t need it!”

For some of our guests, COVID forced new life choices, and nearly everyone reported that the pandemic led to a massive personal change of some kind.

And most agreed on another thing we can happily leave behind: “hard” pants. (Because comfy pants rule.)

Thanks for attending the 2021 Virtual YWCA Luncheon

Standing at the Threshold:
Finding Our Way Forward Together

If you couldn’t attend the luncheon and would like to see what you missed, the recording is below. Even if you already gave, you’re invited to click on “make a gift” to view our exciting progress toward meeting this year’s luncheon goal. The goal is based on where our fundraising needs to be by the end of May to continue the staffing and activities you made possible in 2020 – maybe more, since we won’t have a full-blown pandemic making activities more difficult!

0:00 Welcome from President Carol

3:20 Anne-Marie thanks YWCA supporter/sponsors

4:35 Liza introduces the 2020 and 2021 Leaders of Distinction

10:45 Carol introduces three short videos about what you make possible here

22:15 Anne-Marie shares a Mission Moment, the “why” behind the YW

25:40 Jim pulls your Heartstrings (click the “make a gift” button above to see how much closer we are to reaching the spring fundraising goal than we were while he was speaking)

28:38 Anne-Marie introduces Molly

Stand Against Racism

Every year in April, YWCAs all over the country take a Stand Against Racism. Show that you’re taking a stand by downloading and printing this sign. Then post a selfie with #standagainstracism.

If you missed the YWCA 21-Day Racial Equity & Social Justice Challenge 2021 in March, click here for a catalog of the 21-Day Challenge content. You’ll find videos, articles, podcasts, and more to help you build your knowledge of issues around racial equity.

Another way to take a stand is by registering for one or more of the online events below.

The Donald Blake Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Culture at Walla Walla University and Adventist Health presents the three-day conference
“What Does Equity Look Like?

Tuesday, April 13, 11 a.m.: Rebecca Parshall presents “Reckoning with Racial Equality: It’s Time.” 
Livestreamed at wallawalla.edu/community.

Wednesday, April 14, 5 p.m.: A world-renowned specialist on social impacts on public health, Dr. David R. Williams, will present the keynote address, “Social Inequities in Health and What We Can Do About Them.”
Registration is required.

Thursday, April 15, 3:30 p.m.: Dr. Donald Blake will present “Equity and Respect for All People.” The Donald Blake Center at WWU is named in honor of Blake, a member of the faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences from 1962 to 1969.
Registration is required.

Walla Walla Community College’s Outloud in the Library program presents “Making the Invisible Visible”

Featuring guests from the Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau, these three talks deal with issues around racism. Join us and WWCC to explore marginalized voices and how to appreciate our differences.

See the other speakers Making the Invisible Visible here. All the presentations (including the ones below) will be recorded and available to watch through the end of June.

Recording from April 7
Omari Amili-From Crime to the Classroom: How Education Changes Lives
Passcode: #g3jipNP

April 21, 1–2pm
Dr. Daudi Abe
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Principal’s Office?

April 28, 1–2pm
Clarence Moriwaki
Let It Not Happen Again: Lessons of the Japanese American Exclusion

YWCA 21-Day Racial Equity & Social Justice Challenge 2021

We rolled out an all-new challenge for 2021. Did you join us?

YWCA Walla Walla joined 54 YWCAs from Oahu to South Florida to Maine, all doing a version of this challenge. To engage with each other, we used the hashtag #YWCAEquityChallenge on social media. Thank you to everyone who joined us to dive deep into racial equity and social justice. Click here for a catalog of the 2021 21-Day Challenge content.

The 21-Day Equity Challenge was created by Dr. Eddie Moore Jr. (#BlackMind) and co-developed with Debby Irving, and Dr. Marguerite Penick (#DiverseSolutions). The plan has been adopted by Organizations, Associations and Corporations all over the nation/world. Dr. Eddie Moore Jr. is the Director of the Privilege Institute in Green Bay, WI. Dr. Moore created the Challenge to not only help people better understand issues surrounding equity, inclusion, privilege, leadership and supremacy, but also to do so in a way that would build a habit of learning by stretching it over 21 days. We are excited to be offering you this 21-Day Challenge in partnership with Dr. Moore. As you engage in the various activities over the next 21 days, be sure to tag, comment, and follow (1) 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge | Facebook.


The 2020 21-Day Challenge

08/31/2020 – 21 Day Challenge: Day 21

08/28/2020 – 21 Day Challenge: Day 20

08/27/2020 – 21 Day Challenge: Day 19

08/26/2020 – 21 Day Challenge: Day 18

08/25/2020 – 21 Day Challenge: Day 17

08/24/2020 – 21 Day Challenge: Day 16

08/21/2020 – 21 Day Challenge: Day 15

08/20/2020 – 21 Day Challenge: Day 14

08/19/2020 – 21 Day Challenge: Day 13

08/18/2020 – 21 Day Challenge: Day 12

08/17/2020 – 21 Day Challenge: Day 11

08/14/2020 – 21 Day Challenge: Day 10

08/13/2020 – 21 Day Challenge: Day 9

08/12/2020 – 21 Day Challenge: Day 8

08/11/2020 – 21 Day Challenge: Day 7

08/10//2020 – 21 Day Challenge: Day 6

08/07/2020 – 21 Day Challenge: Day 5

08/06/2020 – 21 Day Challenge: Day 4

08/05/2020 – 21 Day Challenge: Day 3

08/04/2020 – 21 Day Challenge: Day 2

08/03/2020 – Welcome to the 21 Day Challenge! Today is Day 1

Please note: Occasionally a link will take you to a site like YouTube, where an ad will start to play; you can click “Skip ads” to move on to the intended content. Other sites may display pop-ups soliciting donations. These generally have an “X” in the upper-right corner that you can close to continue to the content. Also, we made an effort to avoid linking to resources that require a subscription to view.

Any ads or opinions you encounter are not necessarily endorsed by YWCA Walla Walla.

LiNC curriculum creator retiring

Longtime educator Deana York has retired as director of the YWCA LiNC program.

Deana based LiNC on the Impact Life Transitions Program she started at Walla Walla Community College in 2004.

Impact was a model program in Washington state. However, many programs lost funding in 2010, including Impact.

The program needed a new home, and SonBridge offered office space and paid for supplies and equipment. Over time, Impact became self-sufficient through grants and donations.

Deana retired from Impact in 2016, leaving it in the hands of her intern. Then Anne-Marie Zell Schwerin called. She wanted a similar program at the YWCA. She and Deana had discussed this before, but now she had funding. She asked Deana to organize a program, determine objectives, and develop curriculum.

Deana York

YWCA was a perfect place to launch the program: The clientele was already in the building, and classes would give YWCA residents significant tools for growth and success.

YWCA named it LiNC, Living in New Circumstances and piloted the program with staff, who gave LiNC an enthusiastic endorsement.
The first group of survivors confirmed the program’s value. They found the course so helpful they wanted to take it again, so some more in-depth courses became LiNC 2.0.

Deana recently heard from a LiNC 2.0 graduate, who said, “[LiNC] has totally changed the direction of my life and allowed me to minister and assist so many others without entangling myself in an unhealthy way.”
“I have so much respect,” Deana said, “for the work these ladies did to improve their lives and their futures.”

Some conquered addictions to alcohol, drugs, or smoking. Many enrolled in college classes. Others have overcome physical disabilities. And some have even faced new setbacks.

“Yet,” Deana added, “each one of these women is aware of the choices she is now making. Their lives have been positively impacted [by LiNC].”